Scarborough UTC students stopped from joining climate change protest

Students from various schools gathered in the town centre to protest. However, a group from the UTC were stopped from joining.
Students from various schools gathered in the town centre to protest. However, a group from the UTC were stopped from joining.

A group of students from Scarborough UTC have been stopped from joining today's international climate change strike.

This lunchtime about 20 pupils aged 15 to 16 were prevented from leaving the school's premises, and effectively taking part in the protest, on safety grounds.

Principal Lee Kilgour said: "If parents come here to collect their children then we will let them go, otherwise they will stay here. It's our responsibility to keep children safe so you'll understand why we won't let 50 or 60 kids wander into town."

Katie and Poppy, who study at the UTC said that teachers had initially told them that anyone with parental permission would be free to attend the protest. According to the students, the school only changed its mind today when they realised how many of them wanted to take part. However, this is disputed by staff.

They said: "We're in the garden at the back of the school and all the gates are locked. They won't let us out even though we've got permission from our parents. It's really unfair. At the start of the week they said it's our legal right to go and protest and now they won't let us.

"We believe it's a good cause and everyone has their own reason for wanting to participate but they're not giving us the chance."

Some students also said their parents were turned away when they drove to the school to collect them. However, this is strongly denied by Mr Kilgour who explained that parents who left without their children did so because they chose to keep them in school.

The headteacher also pointed out that a few pupils who had been collected were then able to join the strike.

Read more: Scarborough students walk out of class to join international environment protest